New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has promised additional freedoms for fully vaccinated residents.
In a media release today, the premier outlined the first step on her ‘roadmap out of Covid’.
People across NSW who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed more freedoms next month after NSW hit the target of six million jabs.
It has been decided by the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant and the Berejiklian government that individual freedoms for the double-jabbed will be extended after the state reaches 70-80% vaccination.
Those expecting a bid for freedom may find themselves disappointed with the details of the plan.
From 12:01 am on Monday, 13 September fully vaccinated people outside Covid hotspots will be able to have outdoor gatherings of up to five people, so long as they all live within 5km.
For the fully vaccinated living within a Covid hotspot, they will be able to leave their house for outdoor recreation if they obey existing health orders (such as a one hour limit on outdoor activity and curfews).
At 70%, fully vaccinated people will have a range of as yet unspecified freedoms.
A separate announcement was made extending the 'singles bubble' for those within LGA areas of concern. Individuals must register their nominated friend and keep these registration details on hand for police checks.
Singles who live more than 5km of their friends remain in solitary confinement.
Police will be out in force checking the vaccination status of people who engage in these new freedom.
"Police have been consulted on this. If there is any issues of noncompliance or is causing issues, of course, government has always changed its mind but as the premier has said repeatedly, we have to give the community the benefit of the doubt," said Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant.
The premier’s announcement falls a long way short of the international standard. While the world has accepted that they will have to ‘live with Covid’, state premiers continue to keep the population under lock and key with millions essentially under house arrest.
“Having a meal with loved ones, or having a drink with friends is just around the corner,” said Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro, “but to get there we need to keep up momentum in the vaccine rollout.”
The rest of the announcement provided details on how to obtain a digital ‘proof of COVID-19 vaccination’ also known as a Vaccine Passport.
NSW Health broke the news this morning that there has been another extension to what was originally meant to be a two-week lockdown of regional NSW.
“The decision to extend the lockdown is one to protect communities and protect the regions. We’re sitting on a knife-edge. It’s a tinderbox ready to explode,” added Barilaro.
Despite months of severe lockdowns, NSW recorded its highest day of case numbers with 1029 and three deaths.
According to NSW Health, the deaths announced were three men in their 30s, 60s, and 80s with a total of 79 deaths in NSW since June 2021.